The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3047: One Never Knows - Do One? : Geoff Cole does Fats Waller

Personnel:  Geoff Cole [tb], Tony Pyke [rd], Pat Hawes [pn], Ken Matthews [sb], Colin Miller [dm]

Songs: The Minor Drag, Curse of An Aching Heart, Cabin in the Sky, What's the Reason?, LuLu's Back In Town, Honey Hush, Truckin', Rosetta, Black & Blue, Christopher Columbus, I Used to Love You, Two Sleepy People, Your Feet's Too Big, Yacht Club Swing, Ain't Misbehavin', Music Maestro Please, Oh Looka There Ain't She Pretty?

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3047: One Never Knows - Do One? : Geoff Cole does Fats Waller

Jazz Gazette - Belgium jazz magazine

From the first number on it is clear that Pat Hawes was a great choice for this session. Pat [1928] started his recording career with John Haim's Jelly Roll Kings [1946], recorded with the very first Humphrey Lyttelton Band [1948] and was the first pianist of the Crane River Jazz Band [1948] [well known by the many Ken Colyer fans] and has recently retired from Brian White's Band. His rendition of Fats Waller's music, also vocally, is just excellent.
Geoff Cole [1934] is an extremely gifted trombone player, completely at home in the music of New Orleans and in other classic jazz styles. His solo work on this CD is again remarkable and in the great tradition of early swing trombonists like Vic Dickenson and Benny Morton. Tony Pyke [1939] who played together with Geoff Cole for many years with Ken Colyer, is an excellent clarinet player but on this CD also really shines on the alto sax. Listen to his refined work on numbers like "Cabin In the Sky" and "Black & Blue"! The rhythm section plays with the light footed swing so typical for the Fats Waller groups. Drummer Colin Miller [now with Chris Barber] manages to play an interesting and tasteful drum solo on "Christopher Columbus." Ken Matthews is a regular with Jazz Crusade and, here again, is as steady as a rock.
With the exception of "Black & Blue" - yes, I have checked it! - all the numbers on this CD have been recorded by Fats Waller. It would be perfectly possible to fill a second and a third CD with numbers selected from the extensive repetory of Fats Waller. Even for those who have the complete works of Fat in their collection, this album is a welcome and interested addition. I would even dare to call it a must for every lover of traditional jazz outside the strict New Orleans scope. The recording is exemplary & the CD runs 72 minutes.
P.S. The Tom Waller who is listed among the personnel is no one else but Fats himself whose voice was borrowed from his original recordings
- Marcel Joly


IAJRC Journal - U.S.A.

Fats Waller wrote over 450 songs and also left a legacy of hundreds of recordings, so Geoff Cole and his Hot Five quintet ha dample material from which to choose. Many on this recording are familiar tunes such as "Rosetta" and "Ain't Misbehavin," yet others are lesser-known pieces. Cole leads the way on trombone and shares vocal honors with pianist Pat Hawes. The music has a subdued quality to it. It is not raucous barroom-style playing but instead progresses conservatively along a dedicated course with everyone in the quintet taking a hand at soloing.
The Hot Five play as a very tight-knit ensemble. They swing with gentle exhuberance in the Classic jazz style. Pyke develops his alto and clarinet solosmethodically and interacts well with Cole's trombone, which is played with the gruff, traditional sound popularized in the Waller era. Hawes plays the piano in an understated manner and glides smoothly into each song using an occasional stride approach. All of the selections are presented as authentic Classic jazz without the need for extended fanfare. Cole has done a nice job of emulating an important period in the development of jazz with this tribute to one of its most important pioneers.
- Frank Rubolino


Just Jazz - British Magazine

Not an easy CD to review, because inevitably, of comparing the tribute to the original recordings, so it has to be looked at on its own merit. The problems of a non-trumpet line-up is to get the right voicing between the other two instruments, but we don't have a problem here. Geoff Cole [trombone] and Tony Pyke [clarinet & alto sax] have worked together before and both know how to compliment each other's role.
Although Geoff is an excellent trombonist, I think the star of the show in this case has to be Tony Pyke who in the last couple of years has dusted off his alto sax and started to play it again. It is this that has added an extra string to his bow. With his clarinet playing this fits very nicely into the Fats Waller concept, certainly a different approach to his days with Colyer.
The rhythm section has to be complimented as well, with Pat Hawes on piano and vocals taking tha accolades. He is well supported by the fine bass playing of Ken Matthews and the accurate drumming of Colin Miller.
Another feature of this CD is that the tunes used are not all the regular Fats numbers, but a collection of numbers that Fats played and recorded over the years 1929-1941, including some of my favorite tunes: "What's the Reason," "Two Sleepy People" and "The Minor Drag." For anyone who likes quality jazz, this would be a good purchase.
- Pete Lay


Boxell Jazz Website

Fats Waller, jazzman or entertainer? Both of course! I am too young to have seen the man alive, but I have seen film clips. Who can forget the suggestive leer and knowing wink that Fats used to draw you into his private joke> But he was no lightweight, either physically or musically, and you dismiss and his type of jazz at your own peril. One of the blessings in recent years has been the re-issue of much older material. An extra blessing is the music industry's under valuing of old masters, such as Fats. The result has been a plethora of cheap CDs - and I have many.
So does having the originals lessen the need to have this CD? No. If you have read any of my reviews of the Ken Colyer band of the late 60s, you will know how much I appreciate the playing of trombonist Geoff Cole, reeds man Tony Pyke and pianist Pat Hawes. They are no ones slave, nor are they mimics. This CD belongs to them (and Ken Matthews and Colin Miller). The basic style may be Fats Waller, but the interpretation is their's. Geoff's rasping, yet oft delicate, especially on mute, trombone is fully complimented by Tony's reed playing; his alto style is unique and one of the nicest around to listen to. Is Pat Hawes up to being Waller on piano? As I said, the style is Waller, but the interpretation isn't. The only area where Pat makes no attempt to take on Waller is in the asides and comments the man was so famous for. Here Tom Waller himself makes his contribution, and does so excellently.
- Geoff Boxell


Jazz Journal International-British

Having already saluted Ory and Morton with albums for Jazz Crusade, Geoff Cole has turned his attention to Fats, tackling a comprehensive range of Waller material. Veteran pianist Pat Hawes is pivotal to the success of the project and rises to occasion with aplumb, dispensing tasteful relaxed stride in the appropriate idiom, without specifically replicating Fats note for note. Sensibly the group interprets the material in its own way, acknowledging but not attempting to reproduce the sound or the arrangements of the original recordings. Geoff's relaxed but swinging and melodic phrasing is echoed in Tony Pyke's similarly relaxed, unpretentious and free-wheeling clarinet & alto. I enjoyed Tony's delicate but not mawkish handling of the pretty, sentimentalmelody lines of Cabin In The Sky and Two Sleepy People-a nice solo feature with a sensitive piano chorus. It all ticks along most enjoyably. Geoff sings a couple agreeably enough, but the revalation for me on the album was Pat Hawes's three excellent vocals in the Waller style and spirit! The instrumental performance is tasteful and appropriate and the material well chosen. All in all, happy and enjoyable listening
- Hugh Rainey


Doctor Jazz-Netherlands

Geoff Cole was first known because of his playing with Ken Colyer but during recent years he turns out to be someone who can do more than playing New Orleans jazz. On two previous Jazz Crusade CDs he paid tribute to Kid Ory and to Jelly Roll Morton and now it's the turn of Fats Waller. This is not the first time a band does a tribute to Fats but, happily, there are, besides a number of well known titles, some lessor ones as well. Some numbers are sung by Cole and Hawes. There is no slavish copying; everyone keeps to their own style. That's good to hear, particularly from the pianist Hawes who ran the risk of imitating Waller but he certainly doesn't.
- Gerard Bielderman


Jazzreview.com-U. S. A.

This new CD by British trombonist Geoff Cole is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Geoff and his little band play 17 Fats Waller specialties including some of his best including Honey Hush, The Minor Drag, Two Sleepy People, Yacht Club Swing and Truckin'. The quintet really makes no attempt to copy note for note Wallerisms but do their best to capture Fats' humor and zest for life. This is "happy" music performed by musicians who have studied Waller's mannerisms and delivery.
Geoff Cole has been a part of the UK jazz scene since the early 1950s where he played in his native Exeter. A move to London brought a 10 year stint with the famed Ken Colyer Jazzmen. In 1973 Cole joined Georgia Jazz and
subsequently became the leader. A period with Brian White's Magna Jazz Band allowed him to tour internationally and in recent years he has produced a number of recordings with his own Hot Five.
I particularly enjoy Tony Pyke's clarinet on "Two Sleepy People" where he duplicates the original Waller vocal with his chosen instrument. A novel approach! Pianist, Pat Hawes plays beautifully in a classic stride fashion throughout the CD. Geoff Cole relies heavily on his mute on this album but puts it aside when the occasion demands. He's a powerful player and kicks the band along nicely with his driving style.
I received this CD a couple of weeks ago and have played it at least five times in that short period. Certainly, nobody can ever replace Fats, in fact, his original 78 of "Honey Hush" hangs proudly on the wall in my den. I still find it difficult to pass up the many tribute albums and enjoy this one immensely and recommend it to all fans of the "master."
- Richard Bourcier


AMG *** Review - U. S. Jazz Guide

With his grammatically outlandish "One Never Knows, Do One?" and other malapropisms, the one and only Fats Waller was doing Yogi Berraisms long before Yogi Berra was doing them. This tribute album takes Waller's music and puts it in a traditional jazz (U.K. style) framework while keeping intact the sometimes ribald swing that characterized this larger-than-life man's own works and his performance of tunes of others he was well known for. The result is more than 70 minutes of listenable jazz music, which, while not quite up to the standard Waller set, nevertheless comes close. While the English jazzman Geoff Cole is the leader on the set, it's Pat Hawes' piano and occasional vocals on such tunes as "Curse of an Aching Heart" that strengthens the link to Waller. Hawes' piano work on "Black and Blue" with the Freddy Gardner-like sax of Tony Pyke make this a premiere track. Cole's Kid Ory-fashioned trombone provides the structure for the set. The muted trombone soulful solo on "Honey Hush" is especially arresting. His vocals on "Truckin'" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" come close to capturing Waller's satirical way with a tune. From time to time, Cole lays on a Waller-like quip at the end of a tune. But this is not the Cole/Hawes show by any means. In addition to his sax work, another U.K. musician. Tony Pyke. gets in an admirable clarinet solo on "Lulu's Back in Town" and a haunting "Two Sleepy People." All in all, this is an album revealing another perspective of Waller that is credible and enjoyable.
- Dave Nathan


Mississippi Rag - U. S. Magazine

Geoff Cole gets a chance to star on One Never Knows - Do One, a tribute to pianist/singer/organist/composer/ personality Thomas "Fats" Waller. There are no shortage of Waller sets currently available, but this one is a little different in several ways. The quintet lacks a trumpet and is comprised of trombonist Cole (whose playing sometimes recalls Kid Ory), the valuable Tony Pyke on clarinet and alto, pianist Pat Hawes, bassist Ken Matthews and drummer Colin Miller. The repertoire is a fine mixture of Waller's hits and some obscurities, and Fats himself can be heard at the end of several songs making comments that were taken and isolated from his Victor recordings.
Other strong points to this highly enjoyable effort are the frameworks and logical (yet sometimes unpredictable) arrangements, the easy interplay between Cole and Pyke and the light but hard-swinging rhythm section. Cole (two) and Hawes (three) take occasional vocals in Waller's style that, in Eddie Condon's words, "do not hurt anyone." And although there are a few heated stomps, much of the music is quite relaxed and thoughtful (such as "Two Sleepy People," a clarinet-piano duet). Easilv recommended.
- Scott Yanow


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